Fodor's Expert Review Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro

Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro Fodor's Choice

Extending for 7 km (4½ miles) along the western edge of the Golfo di Castellammare, the Riserva dello Zingaro nature reserve is one of the few stretches of coastline in western Sicily that is not built up. It's only accessible on foot, using a good choice of paths, and offers exhilarating views and some fabulous small beaches. The best time to visit is late spring when both wildflowers and birds are plentiful.

The reserve's two entrances are roughly 1 km (0.6 miles) north of Scopello and, at its northern end, 12 km (7½ miles) east of San Vito Lo Capo. Entry costs €5 per person. The reserve is open daily (until 6) all year, and in winter (Oct.–May) it is possible to stay overnight in very rudimentary shelters for up to two nights. The shelters, which lack electricity, gas, heating, beds, toilets, and drinking water, can be booked for €10 per person per night via the reserve's website.

Route maps can be picked up from either of the entrances. There are three main... READ MORE

Extending for 7 km (4½ miles) along the western edge of the Golfo di Castellammare, the Riserva dello Zingaro nature reserve is one of the few stretches of coastline in western Sicily that is not built up. It's only accessible on foot, using a good choice of paths, and offers exhilarating views and some fabulous small beaches. The best time to visit is late spring when both wildflowers and birds are plentiful.

The reserve's two entrances are roughly 1 km (0.6 miles) north of Scopello and, at its northern end, 12 km (7½ miles) east of San Vito Lo Capo. Entry costs €5 per person. The reserve is open daily (until 6) all year, and in winter (Oct.–May) it is possible to stay overnight in very rudimentary shelters for up to two nights. The shelters, which lack electricity, gas, heating, beds, toilets, and drinking water, can be booked for €10 per person per night via the reserve's website.

Route maps can be picked up from either of the entrances. There are three main routes, color-coded green (for the coastal trail), yellow (for the central trail), and orange (for the high trail). A few trails connect the routes, but these are not always where you might want them. The coastal trail is the easiest, while the high trail is the hardest.

The terrain is mostly rock and scrub, with little shade. Along with the variety of vegetation, there is plenty of unusual wildlife to look out for, including buzzards, kestrels, hoopoes, owls, and the rare Bonelli's eagle. Bees, grasshoppers, and lizards are ubiquitous, and snakes (mostly harmless) are also common. You can pick up illustrated guides to the reserve's flora and fauna at the two entrances.

The only food and refreshments you'll find are also at the two entrances, where you can fill up your water flasks. Be sure to carry plenty of water, and you should also come equipped with sun protection and sturdy footwear (sandals are definitely not recommended).

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Fodor's Choice Nature Preserve

Quick Facts

Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, Sicily  Italy

0924-35108

www.riservazingaro.it

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €5

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